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Marijuana is the second most popular drug after alcohol in the country today So many people smoke marijuana that the numbers alone seem to legitimize and condone its presence in peoples lives Yet even in moderation marijuana is not safe Somehow this information had not filtered down to people who think they are smoking a fairly innocuous drug Our society perpetuates the myths about pot being a fun harmless recreational drug These myths feed into peoples denial of marijuanas problems Baum 6 However the abuse of marijuana is a problem It is not only a personal problem but also more importantly a social problem Throughout history marijuana has been used to serve various purposes in many different cultures The purposes have changed over time to fit in with the current lifestyles The cultivation of the marijuana plant in the United States began as far back as the Jamestown settlers around the year 1611 At that time the main focus was on survival rather than for psychoactive purposes Medicinal uses of marijuana eventually changed to enjoyment manipulation Beginning in the 1960s marijuana use saw a reemergence with the rebellious youth and the hippie movement This evolved into increased use among the older population as well This trend continues to this day Marijuana use can be termed abuse Today the debate over marijuana is a major controversy that affects our society as a whole During the 60s it was easy to depict marijuana as a beneficial and completely harmless substance because there was not enough scientific research done during this time Grolier Wellness Encyclopedia Today we know that the levels of THC the psychoactive component of marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana are four to ten times more than they were in the 60s We also know that THC had shown negative affects in the learning process Its destructive to the learning performance memory and attention span It has insidious side effects including lung damage and cancer risks
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